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Exploring Authentication Changes in .NET 8

March 6, 2024

Authentication is a cornerstone in web and application development, ensuring that user data remains secure and access is correctly managed. Over the years, .NET 8 frameworks have evolved, offering increasingly sophisticated mechanisms for authentication to accommodate the growing complexity of web environments.

With the release of .NET 8, developers are introduced to further enhancements in authentication methods, marking a significant update aimed at simplifying and strengthening the security of applications. This evolution underscores Microsoft’s commitment to providing robust, flexible authentication solutions that meet modern development needs.

The State of Authentication Before .NET 8 Top of Form

Before .NET 8, developers worked with authentication features that, while effective, had room for improvement. These earlier versions provided foundational support for identity management and access control but often required extensive custom coding to meet specific security needs. Challenges included handling diverse authentication schemes, integrating third-party providers, and ensuring scalability and security in complex environments.

There was a growing demand for more adaptable, secure, and easily configurable authentication methods to cater to the increasingly API-driven and microservices-oriented development landscape. This set the stage for the significant enhancements introduced in .NET 8, aiming to address these limitations and advance the framework’s authentication capabilities.

.NET 8 brings pivotal authentication updates:

The bearer token authentication handler in .NET 8 is a new feature that parallels the cookie authentication handler’s functions, previously seen in ASP.NET Core Identity. It’s responsible for creating a new token after user authentication and constructing a ClaimsPrincipal user object from valid tokens received with HTTP requests. This approach imitates the session management of the cookie handler but uses tokens instead. Notably, these tokens are unique to .NET and don’t conform to JWT or any specific standard like OAuth 2.0, even though they serve similar roles to access and refresh tokens.

  • Enhanced integration with external services
  • Better API security
  • Customizable authentication strategies

These advancements fortify security, streamline user management, and meet modern development needs, marking a leap forward in building secure, user-centric applications.

To use the bearer token authentication handler in your application, you can incorporate the following customized code snippet in your Program.cs file. This code sets up a basic authentication using bearer tokens:

using Microsoft.AspNetCore.Authentication; // Use the general authentication namespace

using System.Security.Claims;

var builder = WebApplication.CreateBuilder(args);

// Configure authentication services with bearer token


.AddAuthentication(options =>


options.DefaultAuthenticateScheme = “BearerTokenScheme”; // Custom scheme name

options.DefaultChallengeScheme = “BearerTokenScheme”;


.AddScheme<AuthenticationSchemeOptions, BearerTokenAuthenticationHandler>(

“BearerTokenScheme”, options => { }); // Register custom handler


var app = builder.Build();

// A simple login endpoint creating a token for the provided username

app.MapGet(“/login”, (string username) =>


var claims = new[] { new Claim(ClaimTypes.Name, username) };

var identity = new ClaimsIdentity(claims, “BearerTokenScheme”); // Use your custom scheme

var claimsPrincipal = new ClaimsPrincipal(identity);


// Issue the sign-in against the custom scheme

return Results.SignIn(claimsPrincipal, “BearerTokenScheme”);


// A protected endpoint that greets the user

app.MapGet(“/user”, (ClaimsPrincipal user) =>


return Results.Ok($”Hello, {user.Identity?.Name}! Your token is valid.”);

}).RequireAuthorization(); // Ensure this endpoint requires authorization


Two API endpoints:

In the provided application, two API endpoints are defined. The /login endpoint handles user authentication, where a ClaimsPrincipal object is created and a sign-in process is initiated based on the provided username. The /user endpoint is designed to return the username of the authenticated user, verifying the successful authentication process.

The key lines of code include the reference to Microsoft.AspNetCore.Authentication.BearerToken namespace, which is essential for the bearer token authentication scheme. This scheme is then implemented in the application by calling the AddBearerToken() extension method during service configuration.

When the /login endpoint is accessed with a tool like curl, it expects a query parameter for the username, and upon execution, it should authenticate the user named ‘joe’. For a live application, you would replace <YOUR_HOST> with the actual host address where your application is running.

Utilizing the bearer token authentication handler in ASP.NET Core Identity simplifies the transition to token-based authentication. By calling the /login endpoint, users receive a JSON response with an access token and a refresh token. These tokens can be used to access protected APIs, such as the /user endpoint. This process showcases the ease of setting up secure, token-based authentication in modern web applications.

Practical Implementation and Migration in .NET 8

When implementing the new authentication features in .NET 8:

  • Start with a thorough assessment of your project’s current authentication mechanisms.
  • Gradually integrate new endpoints and handlers into a separate development branch.
  • Ensure compatibility with existing user databases and identity schemas.

For migrating from earlier .NET versions:

  • Incrementally replace legacy authentication code with new .NET 8 features.
  • Test each new feature extensively in isolation before full integration.
  • Use feature flags or similar strategies to toggle new authentication features for segmented user groups.

Best practices for deployment:

  • Implement continuous integration and deployment pipelines for rolling out authentication changes.
  • Monitor application logs and user feedback closely post-deployment for any security or functionality issues.


.NET 8 brings essential updates to authentication, simplifying implementation and offering more secure, token-based solutions. Staying current with these trends is crucial for robust application security and effective user management. Leverage .NET 8’s authentication features to future-proof your applications and maintain the highest security standards.


By TechcronusAdmin

Techcronus is a worldwide supplier of Enterprise Business Solutions and Custom Software Development Services, with locations in the USA, Australia, and India. It has accomplished the successful delivery of over 800 projects to start-ups, SMBs, and well-known brands, such as Starbucks, Unilever, and IKEA. The firm's areas of expertise include Microsoft Dynamics 365 ERP/CRM solutions, Web Development, Business Applications Management (.NET and DevOps), Mobile Development (Native, Hybrid, Blockchain), Staff Augmentation, Product Development & Support, and UI Design and UX.